Theatre of the oppressed pdf

 
    Contents
  1. Exploring medical humanities through theatre of the oppressed
  2. (PDF) The Theatre of the Oppressed | Sophie Coudray - chronanreareeko.ml
  3. The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed
  4. Theatre of the Oppressed

PDF | On Jan 1, , Mecca Antonia Burns and others published Theatre of the Oppressed. Theater of the Oppressed is a non-traditional theater style used to prompt dialogue and promote community- centered problem solving. ○ It is designed to . Theatre of the Oppressed is published by Theatre Communications Group, Inc., people. But, obviously, the Aristotelian theater is not the only form of theater.

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Theatre Of The Oppressed Pdf

This paper aims to clarify the original project of Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed, which is a set of dramatic techniques whose purpose is to bring to light. Theatre of the OppressedBoal 00 pre i3/7/08 I>86A chronanreareeko.mlooks. comRevolution, Democracy, Socialism. enhancing cultural awareness through cultural production theatre. Theatre of the Oppressed. Enhancing cultural awareness and empowerment in multicultural.

History[ edit ] Although it was first officially adopted in the s, Theatre of the Oppressed, a term coined by Augusto Boal, is a series of theatrical analyses and critiques was first developed in the s. Boal was an avid supporter of using interactive techniques, especially in the context of theatre. Many of his ideas are considered as "a new media perspective", despite the relatively early birth of these ideas. Since then, these ideas have been developed more, giving them meaning in a modern-day context. The creation of the Theatre of the Oppressed is largely based on the idea of dialogue and interaction between audience and performer.

And nature is not the whole of created things but rather the creative principle itself. Thus when Aristotle says that art imitates nature, we must understand that this statement, which can be found in any modern version of the Poetics, is due to a bad translation, which in turn stems from an isolated interpretation of that text.

The School of Miletus Between the years and BC, in the Greek city of Miletus, lived a very religious oil merchant, who was also a navigator. Thus he spent a great deal of his time praying to the gods, begging them for good weather and a calm sea, and devoted the rest of his time to the study of the stars, the winds, the sea, and the relations between geometrical figures.

A treatise on nautical astronomy is also attributed to him. As we see, Thales believed in the gods but did not fail to study the sciences. He came to the conclusion that the world of appearances — chaotic and many-sided though it was — actually was nothing more than the result of diverse transformations of a single substance, water.

For him, water could change into all things, and all things could likewise be transformed into water. How did this transformation take place?

Therefore, according to him, the soul of things consists in the movement inherent in things which transforms them into water and that, in turn, transforms the water into things.

Anaximander, who lived not long afterward — BC held similar beliefs, but for him the fundamental substance was not water, but something indefinable, without predicate, called apeiron, which according to him, created things through either condensing or rarifying itself.

The apeiron was, for him, divine, because it was immortal and indestructible. Another of the philosophers of the Milesian school, Anaximenes, without varying to any great extent from the conceptions just described, affirmed that air was the element closest to immateriality, thus being the primal substance from which all things originated. In these three philosophers a common trait can be noted: the search for a single substance whose transformations give birth to all known things.

Furthermore, the three argue, each in his own way, for the existence of a transforming force, immanent to the substance — be it air, water, or apeiron. Of all of them, very few written texts have come down to us. Much more has remained of Heraclitus, the first dialectician.

Heraclitus and Cratylus For Heraclitus, the world and all things in it are in constant flux, and the permanent condition of change is the only unchangeable thing. The appearance of stability is a mere illusion of the senses and must be corrected by reason. And how does change take place? Well, all things change into fire, and fire into all things, in the same manner that gold is transformed into jewellery which can in turn be transformed into gold again.

But of course gold does not transform itself; it is transformed. There is someone the jeweller , foreign to the matter gold, who makes the transformation possible. For Heraclitus, however, the transforming element would exist within the thing itself, as an opposing force. To show the constantly changing nature of all things, Heraclitus used to offer a concrete example: nobody can step into the same river twice.

Because on the second attempt it will not be the same waters that are running, nor will it be exactly the same person who tries it, because he will be older, even if by only a few seconds. His pupil, Cratylus, even more radical, would say to his teacher that nobody can go into a river even once, because upon going in, the waters of the river are already moving which waters would he enter? Only the movement of the waters is eternal, said Cratylus; only aging is eternal; only movement exists: all the rest is appearance.

Actually it would be absurd to think the opposite and, said Parmenides, absurd thoughts are not real. There is, therefore, an identity between being and thinking, according to the philosopher.

If we accept this initial premise, we are obliged to derive from it a number of consequences: 1. Being is one indivisible , for if it were not so, between one being and another there would be non-being, which in fact would divide them; but since we have already accepted that non-being is not, we have to accept that being is one, in spite of the deceptive appearance that tells us the opposite.

Being is eternal, for if it were not so, after being there would necessarily come non-being which, as we have seen, is not. Being is infinite. Here Parmenides made a small logical mistake: after affirming that being is infinite, he asserted that it was also spherical; now if it is spherical it has a shape, and therefore has a limit, beyond which there necessarily would come non-being.

But these are subtleties which should not concern us here. Being is unchangeable, because all transformation means that being stops being what it is in order to begin to be what it is not yet: between one state and the other there would necessarily be non-being, and since the latter is not, there is no possibility according to this logic of change.

Being is motionless: movement is an illusion, because motion means that being moves from the place where it is to the place where it is not, this meaning that between the two places there would be non-being, and once more this would be a logical impossibility. Motion, according to him, is an illusion, because we can demonstrate that it does not actually exist; the same for the multiplicity of existing things, which are in his logic, a single being, infinite, eternal, unchangeable.

Like Heraclitus, Parmenides too, had his radical disciple, named Zeno. The latter had the habit of telling two stories to prove the inexistence of motion. Two famous stories, which are worth remembering.

The first said that in a race between Achilles the greatest Greek runner and a turtle, the former could never reach the latter if it were allowed a small lead at the start. But no matter how slow the turtle may be, it will have moved, even if only a few centimetres. When Achilles attempts to overtake it once again, he will, nonetheless, have to cover this second distance.

During this time the turtle will have advanced somewhat more, and to overtake it, Achilles will have to cover the distance — smaller and smaller each time — that will be separating him from the turtle, which, very slowly, will never let itself be defeated. The second story, or example, states that if an archer shoots an arrow toward someone, the latter will not have to get out of the way because the arrow will never reach him.

Very simple, Zeno would say obviously a man of the extreme right , because an arrow or a rock, in order to move, like any thing or person, must move either in the place where it is or in the place where it is not yet. It can not move in the place where it is, because if it is there this means it has not moved. Neither can it move in the place where it is not, because of course it will not be there to make the move. The movement does not take place in one place or in another, but rather from one place toward another: the movement is precisely the passing from one place to another, and not a sequence of acts in different places.

Logos and Plato It is important to keep in mind that our purpose here is not to write a history of philosophy but rather to set forth as clearly as possible the Aristotelian concept of art as an imitation of nature, and to clarify what kind of nature it is, what kind of imitation, and what kind of art. This is why we have passed so lightly over many thinkers. Socrates, too, must suffer from this superficial treatment, since we want to establish only his concept of logos. For him, the real world needed to be conceptualised in the manner of the geometers.

In nature there is an infinity of forms which are similar to a form generally designated as a triangle: thus the concept, the logos, of triangle is established; it is the geometrical figure having three sides and three angles. An infinity of real objects can thus be conceptualised. There exists, too, an infinite number of forms of objects that resemble the square, the circle, the polyhedron; therefore, the concepts of polyhedron, sphere, and square are established.

The same should be done, Socrates said, with the logos of moral value in order to conceptualise courage, good, love, tolerance, etcetera. Plato uses the Socratic idea of logos and goes beyond: 1.

People who love, realise the act of love, but always imperfectly; what is perfect is the idea of love. All ideas are perfect; all the concrete things of reality are imperfect. Ideas are the essence of things existing in the world perceptible to the senses; ideas are indestructible, immovable, immutable, timeless, and eternal. Knowledge consists in elevating ourselves, through dialectics — that is, through the debate of ideas posed and counterposed, of ideas and the negations of those same ideas, which are other ideas — from the world of sensible reality to the world of eternal ideas.

This ascent is knowledge. This brings us back to Aristotle — BC , who rejects Plato: 1. Plato only multiplied the beings who for Parmenides were a single being; for him they are infinite, because the ideas are infinite. The mataxis, that is, the participation of one world in another, is unintelligible; in truth, what has the world of perfect ideas to do with the imperfect world of real things? Is there movement from one to the other? If so, how does it take place? Each thing comes to be what it is a statue, a book, a house, a tree because its matter receives a form that gives meaning and purpose to it.

The world of ideas does not coexist side by side with the world of reality, but rather the ideas here called form are the dynamic principle of matter. In the last analysis, reality for Aristotle is not a copy of ideas, though indeed it tends to perfection. It has in itself the moving force that will take it to that perfection. Man tends to health, to perfect bodily proportion, etc. Trees tend to the perfection of the tree, that is, to the Platonic idea of a tree. Love tends to the perfect Platonic love.

Our concern here is to insist on one point: for Aristotle, things themselves, by their own virtues by their form, their moving force, by the enactment of their potential , tend to perfection. There are not two worlds; there is no mataxis: the world of perfection is yearning, a movement which develops matter toward its final form. To recreate that internal movement of things toward their perfection.

Nature was for him this movement itself and not things already made, finished, visible. What, then, is the Purpose of Art and Science? If the things themselves tend to perfection, if perfection is immanent to all things and not transcendent, what, then, is the purpose of art and science?

Nature, according to Aristotle, tends to perfection, which does not mean that it always attains it. The body tends to health, but it can become ill; men in the aggregate tend to the perfect State, but wars can occur. Thus nature has certain ends in view, states of perfection toward which it tends — but sometimes nature fails.

Thus we invent the art of weaving and the manufacture of fabrics to protect the skin. The art of architecture constructs buildings and bridges, so that men can have shelter and cross rivers; medical science prepares medications for organs that have ceased to function as they should. Politics likewise tends to correct the faults that men have, even though they all tend to the perfect communal life.

That is the purpose of art and science: to correct the faults of nature, by using the suggestions of nature itself.

Major Arts and Minor Arts The arts and sciences do not exist in isolation, without relation to each other, but on the contrary, are all interrelated according to the activity characteristic of each. They are also, in a certain way, arranged hierarchically according to the greater or lesser magnitude of their fields of action. The major arts are subdivided into minor arts, and each one of the latter deals with specific elements that compose the former.

Thus, the raising of horses is an art, as is also the work of the blacksmith. These arts, together with others — such as that of the man who makes leather goods, etc. The latter, in turn, joins with other arts — such as the art of topography, the art of strategy, etc. Always a group of arts combines to form a more ample, greater, more complex art. Another example: the art of manufacturing paints, the art of manufacturing paint brushes, the art of preparing the best canvas, the art of the combination of colours, etc.

This sovereign art, of course, will be the one whose laws rule over the relations among men in their totality. That is, Politics. Nothing is alien to Politics, because nothing is alien to the superior art that rules the relations among men.

Medicine, war, architecture, etc. Thus we have established that nature tends toward perfection, that the arts and sciences correct nature in all its faults, and at the same time are interrelated under the domain of a sovereign art which deals with all men, with all they do, and all that is done for them: Politics.

What does Tragedy Imitate? Tragedy imitates human acts. Human acts, not merely human activities. The irrational soul could produce certain activities such as eating, walking or performing any physical movement without greater significance than the physical act itself. Man, even if he does not love, is able to love; even if he does not hate, he is able to hate; even if a coward, he is capable of showing courage.

Faculty is pure potentiality and is immanent to the rational soul. But, even though the soul has all the faculties, only some of them attain realisation. These are the passions.

Love is a passion once it is expressed as such. As long as it is simply a possibility it will remain a faculty.

Not all passions serve as subject matter for tragedy. If a man, in a given moment, happens to exert a passion, that is not an action worthy of tragedy.

It is necessary that that passion be constant in the man; that is, that by its repeated exertion it has become a habit. Animal activity is excluded, as well as the faculties and passions that have not become habitual. To what end is a passion, a habit, exerted? What is the purpose of man? Each part of man has a purpose: the hand grabs, the mouth eats, the leg walks, the brain thinks, etc. It is not an abstract idea of good, but rather the concrete good, diversified in all the different sciences and the different arts which deal with particular ends.

Each human action, therefore, has an end limited to that action, but all actions as a whole have as their purpose the supreme good of man. What is the supreme good of man? But in order to understand which actions they are, we have to know first what happiness is. What is Happiness? The types of happiness, says Aristotle, are three: one that derives from material pleasures, another from glory, and a third from virtue.

For the average person, happiness consists in possessing material goods and enjoying them. Riches, honours, sexual and gastronomic pleasures, etc. This happiness, he says, does not deserve to be studied in tragedy. On a second level, happiness is glory. Here man acts according to his own virtue, but his happiness consists in the recognition of his actions by others.

Happiness is not in the virtuous behaviour itself, but in the fact that that behaviour is recognised by others. Man, in order to be happy, needs the approval of others. Finally, the superior level of happiness is that of the man who acts virtuously and asks no more. His happiness consists in acting in a virtuous manner, whether others recognise him or not.

This is the highest degree of happiness: the virtuous exercise of the rational soul. Now we know that tragedy imitates the actions of the rational soul — passions transformed into habits — of the man in search of happiness, which is to say, virtuous behaviour.

Very well. And What is Virtue? Virtue is the behaviour most distant from the possible extremes of behaviour in any given situation. Virtue cannot be found in the extremes: both the man who voluntarily refuses to eat and the glutton harm their health. This is not virtuous behaviour; to eat with moderation is. The absence of physical exercise, as well as the too violent exercise, ruins the body; moderate physical exercise constitutes virtuous behaviour.

The same is true of the moral virtues. Creon thinks only of the good of the State, while Antigone thinks only of the good of the Family and wishes to bury her dead, traitorous brother. The two behave in a non-virtuous manner, for their conduct is extreme. Virtue would be found somewhere in the middle ground. The man who gives himself to all pleasures is a libertine, but the one who flees from all pleasures is an insensitive person. The one who confronts all dangers is foolhardy, but he who runs from all dangers is a coward.

The rock cannot fall upward nor can fire burn downward. But we can cultivate habits which will allow us to behave virtuously. Nature, still according to Aristotle, gives us faculties, and we have the power to change them into actions passions and habits.

The one who practises wisdom becomes wise, he who practises justice becomes just, and the architect acquires his virtue as an architect by constructing buildings. Habits, not faculties! Habits, not merely ephemeral passions! Aristotle goes farther and states that the formation of habits should begin in childhood and that a youth cannot practise politics because he needs first to learn all the virtuous habits taught by his elders, the legislators who instruct the citizens in virtuous habits.

Thus we know now that vice is extreme behaviour and virtue is behaviour characterised neither by excess nor deficiency.

But if any given behaviour is to be seen as either vicious or virtuous, it must fulfil four indispensable conditions: wilfulness, freedom, knowledge, and constancy. These terms call for explanation. Little by little our definition is becoming more complex. Necessary Characteristics of Virtue A man can behave in a totally virtuous manner and, in spite of that, not be considered virtuous; or he may behave in a vicious manner and not be considered vicious.

In order to be considered virtuous or vicious, human action must meet four conditions. First Condition: Wilfulness Wilfulness excludes the accidental. That is, man acts because he decides to act voluntarily, by his will and not by accident. One day a mason put a stone on a wall in such a way that a strong wind blew it down. The man died. His wife sued the mason, but the latter defended himself by saying that he had not committed any crime since he had not had the intention of killing the pedestrian.

That is, his behaviour was not vicious — he merely had an accident. But the judge did not accept this defence and found him guilty based on the fact that there was no wilfulness in causing the death, but there was in placing the stone in a position such that it could fall and cause a death.

In this respect there was wilfulness. If man acts because he wishes to, there we find virtue or vice. If his action is not determined by his will, one can speak neither of vice nor virtue. The one who does good without being aware of it is not for that a good person. Nor is he bad who causes harm involuntarily.

Second Condition: Freedom Here, exterior coercion is excluded. If a man commits an evil act because someone forces him with a gun to his head, one cannot in this case speak of vice. Virtue is free behaviour, without any sort of exterior pressure. In this case, too, a story is told — this time of a woman who, on being abandoned by her lover, decided to kill him, and so she did.

Taken to court, she declared in her defence that she had not acted freely: her irrational passion forced her to commit the crime. According to her, there was no guilt here, no crime. Though there is no freedom when coercion comes from without, acts based upon inner impulse must be regarded as freely undertaken. The woman was condemned.

Third Condition: Knowledge It is the opposite of ignorance. The person who acts has before him an option whose terms he knows. Also in this case, the drunk was condemned.

Before he started drinking he had full knowledge that the alcohol was going to lead him to a state of unconsciousness; therefore he was guilty of letting himself fall into a state in which he lost consciousness of what he was doing. In relation to this third condition of virtuous behaviour, the conduct of characters such as Othello and Oedipus may seem questionable.

With regard to both, we find discussions of the existence or non-existence of knowledge on which their virtue or vice would hinge. To my way of thinking the argument can be resolved as follows. Othello does not know the truth; this is correct.

Iago lies to him about the infidelity of Desdemona, his wife, and Othello, blind with jealousy, kills her. But the tragedy of Othello goes far beyond a simple murder: his tragic flaw and soon we will discuss the concept of hamartia, tragic flaw is not that of having killed Desdemona.

Nor is this habitual behaviour. But what indeed is a habit is his constant pride and his unreflective temerity. In several moments of the play Othello tells how he flung himself against his enemies, how he acted without reflecting upon the consequences of his actions.

This, or his excessive pride, is the cause of his misfortune. And of these qualities, Othello is fully conscious, has full knowledge. This invasion is a symbolic trespass. It symbolises all the acts of trespass we have to commit in order to free ourselves from what oppresses us. To free ourselves is to trespass, and to transform. It is through a creation of the new that that which has not yet existed begins to exist.

To free yourself is to trespass. To trespass is to exist. To free ourselves is to exist. To free yourself is to exist. Those who try to separate theatre from politics try to lead us into error — and this is a political attitude.

In this book I also offer some proof that the theatre is a weapon. A very efficient weapon. For this reason one must fight for it. For this reason the ruling classes strive to take permanent hold of the theatre and utilise it as a tool for domination. But the theatre can also be a weapon for liberation. For that, it is necessary to create appropriate theatrical forms. Change is imperative. This work tries to show some of the fundamental changes and how the people have responded to them. It was a celebration in which all could participate freely.

Then came the aristocracy and established divisions: And in order that the spectacle may efficiently reflect the dominant ideology, the aristocracy established another division: Later came the bourgeoisie and changed these protagonists: But now he is an object of social forces, not of the values of the superstructures. Social being determines thought, and not vice versa. What was lacking to complete the cycle was what is happening at present in Latin America — the destruction of the barriers created by the ruling classes.

First, the barrier between actors and spectators is destroyed: Then the barrier between protagonists and choruses is destroyed: Thus we arrive at the poetics of the oppressed, the conquest of the means of theatrical production. The externals of its presentation to the masses were democratic, but its content, the heroic sagas with their tragi-heroic outlook on life, was aristocratic ….

It unquestionably propagates the standards of the great-hearted individual, the uncommon distinguished man it owed its origin to the separation of the choir-leader from the choir, which turned collective performance of songs into dramatic dialogue.

The tragedians are in fact state bursars and state purveyors — the state pays them for the plays that are performed, but naturally does not allow pieces to be performed that would run counter to its policy or the interests of the governing classes. The tragedies are frankly tendentious and do not pretend to be otherwise.

Arnold Hauser, The Social History of Art1 Introduction The argument about the relations between theatre and politics is as old as theatre and … as politics.

Since Aristotle, and in fact since long before, the same themes and arguments that are still brandished were already set forth. Should art educate, inform, organise, influence, incite to action, or should it simply be an object of pleasure? Strabo argued: As we see, each one has his opinion. Is this possible? Is the relation of art to the spectator something that can be diversely interpreted, or, on the contrary, does it rigorously obey certain laws that make art either a purely contemplative phenomenon or a deeply political one?

Let us consider the case of Aristotle, for example, for whom poetry and politics are completely different disciplines, which must be studied separately because they each have their own laws and serve different purposes and aims. To arrive at these conclusions, Aristotle utilises in his Poetics certain concepts that are scarcely explained in his other works. Words that we know in their current connotation change their meaning completely if they are understood through the Nicomachaean Ethics or the Magna Moralia.

Aristotle declares the independence of poetry lyric, epic, and dramatic in relation to politics. This system is, to this day, fully utilised not only in conventional theatre, but in the TV soap operas and in Western films as well: But, obviously, the Aristotelian theatre is not the only form of theatre. Art Imitates Nature The first difficulty that we face in order to understand correctly the workings of tragedy according to Aristotle stems from the very definition which that philosopher gives of art.

What is art, any art? For him, it is an imitation of nature. Art would, then, be a copy of nature. Art would, therefore, be a copy of created things. But this has nothing to do with Aristotle. For him, to imitate mimesis has nothing to do with copying an exterior model. And nature is not the whole of created things but rather the creative principle itself.

Thus when Aristotle says that art imitates nature, we must understand that this statement, which can be found in any modern version of the Poetics, is due to a bad translation, which in turn stems from an isolated interpretation of that text. The School of Miletus Between the years and BC, in the Greek city of Miletus, lived a very religious oil merchant, who was also a navigator.

Thus he spent a great deal of his time praying to the gods, begging them for good weather and a calm sea, and devoted the rest of his time to the study of the stars, the winds, the sea, and the relations between geometrical figures. A treatise on nautical astronomy is also attributed to him. As we see, Thales believed in the gods but did not fail to study the sciences. He came to the conclusion that the world of appearances — chaotic and many-sided though it was — actually was nothing more than the result of diverse transformations of a single substance, water.

For him, water could change into all things, and all things could likewise be transformed into water. How did this transformation take place? Sometimes the soul could become perceptible and its effects immediately visible: Therefore, according to him, the soul of things consists in the movement inherent in things which transforms them into water and that, in turn, transforms the water into things.

Anaximander, who lived not long afterward — BC held similar beliefs, but for him the fundamental substance was not water, but something indefinable, without predicate, called apeiron, which according to him, created things through either condensing or rarifying itself. The apeiron was, for him, divine, because it was immortal and indestructible.

Exploring medical humanities through theatre of the oppressed

Another of the philosophers of the Milesian school, Anaximenes, without varying to any great extent from the conceptions just described, affirmed that air was the element closest to immateriality, thus being the primal substance from which all things originated.

In these three philosophers a common trait can be noted: Furthermore, the three argue, each in his own way, for the existence of a transforming force, immanent to the substance — be it air, water, or apeiron. Of all of them, very few written texts have come down to us. Much more has remained of Heraclitus, the first dialectician. Heraclitus and Cratylus For Heraclitus, the world and all things in it are in constant flux, and the permanent condition of change is the only unchangeable thing.

The appearance of stability is a mere illusion of the senses and must be corrected by reason. And how does change take place? Well, all things change into fire, and fire into all things, in the same manner that gold is transformed into jewellery which can in turn be transformed into gold again.

But of course gold does not transform itself; it is transformed. There is someone the jeweller , foreign to the matter gold, who makes the transformation possible.

For Heraclitus, however, the transforming element would exist within the thing itself, as an opposing force. To show the constantly changing nature of all things, Heraclitus used to offer a concrete example: Because on the second attempt it will not be the same waters that are running, nor will it be exactly the same person who tries it, because he will be older, even if by only a few seconds. His pupil, Cratylus, even more radical, would say to his teacher that nobody can go into a river even once, because upon going in, the waters of the river are already moving which waters would he enter?

Only the movement of the waters is eternal, said Cratylus; only aging is eternal; only movement exists: Actually it would be absurd to think the opposite and, said Parmenides, absurd thoughts are not real.

There is, therefore, an identity between being and thinking, according to the philosopher. If we accept this initial premise, we are obliged to derive from it a number of consequences: Being is one indivisible , for if it were not so, between one being and another there would be non-being, which in fact would divide them; but since we have already accepted that non-being is not, we have to accept that being is one, in spite of the deceptive appearance that tells us the opposite.

Being is eternal, for if it were not so, after being there would necessarily come non-being which, as we have seen, is not. Being is infinite. Here Parmenides made a small logical mistake: But these are subtleties which should not concern us here. Being is unchangeable, because all transformation means that being stops being what it is in order to begin to be what it is not yet: Being is motionless: Motion, according to him, is an illusion, because we can demonstrate that it does not actually exist; the same for the multiplicity of existing things, which are in his logic, a single being, infinite, eternal, unchangeable.

Like Heraclitus, Parmenides too, had his radical disciple, named Zeno. The latter had the habit of telling two stories to prove the inexistence of motion. Two famous stories, which are worth remembering. The first said that in a race between Achilles the greatest Greek runner and a turtle, the former could never reach the latter if it were allowed a small lead at the start. But no matter how slow the turtle may be, it will have moved, even if only a few centimetres. When Achilles attempts to overtake it once again, he will, nonetheless, have to cover this second distance.

During this time the turtle will have advanced somewhat more, and to overtake it, Achilles will have to cover the distance — smaller and smaller each time — that will be separating him from the turtle, which, very slowly, will never let itself be defeated. The second story, or example, states that if an archer shoots an arrow toward someone, the latter will not have to get out of the way because the arrow will never reach him. Very simple, Zeno would say obviously a man of the extreme right , because an arrow or a rock, in order to move, like any thing or person, must move either in the place where it is or in the place where it is not yet.

It can not move in the place where it is, because if it is there this means it has not moved. Neither can it move in the place where it is not, because of course it will not be there to make the move. Achilles does not first gain one part of the distance to be run, in order then to run the second stage; on the contrary, he runs the entire distance without relation to the speed of the turtle, or to that of a lazy bear that might happen to be moving along the same course.

The movement does not take place in one place or in another, but rather from one place toward another: Logos and Plato It is important to keep in mind that our purpose here is not to write a history of philosophy but rather to set forth as clearly as possible the Aristotelian concept of art as an imitation of nature, and to clarify what kind of nature it is, what kind of imitation, and what kind of art.

This is why we have passed so lightly over many thinkers. Socrates, too, must suffer from this superficial treatment, since we want to establish only his concept of logos. For him, the real world needed to be conceptualised in the manner of the geometers. In nature there is an infinity of forms which are similar to a form generally designated as a triangle: An infinity of real objects can thus be conceptualised.

(PDF) The Theatre of the Oppressed | Sophie Coudray - chronanreareeko.ml

There exists, too, an infinite number of forms of objects that resemble the square, the circle, the polyhedron; therefore, the concepts of polyhedron, sphere, and square are established.

The same should be done, Socrates said, with the logos of moral value in order to conceptualise courage, good, love, tolerance, etcetera.

Plato uses the Socratic idea of logos and goes beyond: People who love, realise the act of love, but always imperfectly; what is perfect is the idea of love. All ideas are perfect; all the concrete things of reality are imperfect. Ideas are the essence of things existing in the world perceptible to the senses; ideas are indestructible, immovable, immutable, timeless, and eternal. Knowledge consists in elevating ourselves, through dialectics — that is, through the debate of ideas posed and counterposed, of ideas and the negations of those same ideas, which are other ideas — from the world of sensible reality to the world of eternal ideas.

This ascent is knowledge. This brings us back to Aristotle — BC , who rejects Plato: Plato only multiplied the beings who for Parmenides were a single being; for him they are infinite, because the ideas are infinite. The mataxis, that is, the participation of one world in another, is unintelligible; in truth, what has the world of perfect ideas to do with the imperfect world of real things?

Is there movement from one to the other? If so, how does it take place? Each thing comes to be what it is a statue, a book, a house, a tree because its matter receives a form that gives meaning and purpose to it. The world of ideas does not coexist side by side with the world of reality, but rather the ideas here called form are the dynamic principle of matter. In the last analysis, reality for Aristotle is not a copy of ideas, though indeed it tends to perfection.

It has in itself the moving force that will take it to that perfection. Man tends to health, to perfect bodily proportion, etc. Trees tend to the perfection of the tree, that is, to the Platonic idea of a tree.

Love tends to the perfect Platonic love. Our concern here is to insist on one point: There are not two worlds; there is no mataxis: To recreate that internal movement of things toward their perfection. Nature was for him this movement itself and not things already made, finished, visible.

If the things themselves tend to perfection, if perfection is immanent to all things and not transcendent, what, then, is the purpose of art and science? Nature, according to Aristotle, tends to perfection, which does not mean that it always attains it. The body tends to health, but it can become ill; men in the aggregate tend to the perfect State, but wars can occur.

Thus nature has certain ends in view, states of perfection toward which it tends — but sometimes nature fails. From this follows the purpose of art and science: Here are some examples: Thus we invent the art of weaving and the manufacture of fabrics to protect the skin. The art of architecture constructs buildings and bridges, so that men can have shelter and cross rivers; medical science prepares medications for organs that have ceased to function as they should.

Politics likewise tends to correct the faults that men have, even though they all tend to the perfect communal life. That is the purpose of art and science: Major Arts and Minor Arts The arts and sciences do not exist in isolation, without relation to each other, but on the contrary, are all interrelated according to the activity characteristic of each. They are also, in a certain way, arranged hierarchically according to the greater or lesser magnitude of their fields of action.

The major arts are subdivided into minor arts, and each one of the latter deals with specific elements that compose the former. Thus, the raising of horses is an art, as is also the work of the blacksmith. These arts, together with others — such as that of the man who makes leather goods, etc.

The latter, in turn, joins with other arts — such as the art of topography, the art of strategy, etc. Always a group of arts combines to form a more ample, greater, more complex art. Another example: This sovereign art, of course, will be the one whose laws rule over the relations among men in their totality.

That is, Politics. Nothing is alien to Politics, because nothing is alien to the superior art that rules the relations among men.

The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed

Medicine, war, architecture, etc. Thus we have established that nature tends toward perfection, that the arts and sciences correct nature in all its faults, and at the same time are interrelated under the domain of a sovereign art which deals with all men, with all they do, and all that is done for them: What does Tragedy Imitate?

Tragedy imitates human acts. Human acts, not merely human activities. The irrational soul could produce certain activities such as eating, walking or performing any physical movement without greater significance than the physical act itself.

Man, even if he does not love, is able to love; even if he does not hate, he is able to hate; even if a coward, he is capable of showing courage. Faculty is pure potentiality and is immanent to the rational soul. But, even though the soul has all the faculties, only some of them attain realisation. These are the passions. Love is a passion once it is expressed as such. As long as it is simply a possibility it will remain a faculty. Not all passions serve as subject matter for tragedy. If a man, in a given moment, happens to exert a passion, that is not an action worthy of tragedy.

It is necessary that that passion be constant in the man; that is, that by its repeated exertion it has become a habit. Animal activity is excluded, as well as the faculties and passions that have not become habitual.

To what end is a passion, a habit, exerted? What is the purpose of man? Each part of man has a purpose: It is not an abstract idea of good, but rather the concrete good, diversified in all the different sciences and the different arts which deal with particular ends. Each human action, therefore, has an end limited to that action, but all actions as a whole have as their purpose the supreme good of man.

What is the supreme good of man? But in order to understand which actions they are, we have to know first what happiness is. The types of happiness, says Aristotle, are three: For the average person, happiness consists in possessing material goods and enjoying them. Riches, honours, sexual and gastronomic pleasures, etc. This happiness, he says, does not deserve to be studied in tragedy.

On a second level, happiness is glory. Here man acts according to his own virtue, but his happiness consists in the recognition of his actions by others. Happiness is not in the virtuous behaviour itself, but in the fact that that behaviour is recognised by others.

Man, in order to be happy, needs the approval of others. Finally, the superior level of happiness is that of the man who acts virtuously and asks no more.

His happiness consists in acting in a virtuous manner, whether others recognise him or not. This is the highest degree of happiness: Now we know that tragedy imitates the actions of the rational soul — passions transformed into habits — of the man in search of happiness, which is to say, virtuous behaviour. Very well. Virtue is the behaviour most distant from the possible extremes of behaviour in any given situation. Virtue cannot be found in the extremes: This is not virtuous behaviour; to eat with moderation is.

The absence of physical exercise, as well as the too violent exercise, ruins the body; moderate physical exercise constitutes virtuous behaviour. The same is true of the moral virtues. Creon thinks only of the good of the State, while Antigone thinks only of the good of the Family and wishes to bury her dead, traitorous brother.

The two behave in a non-virtuous manner, for their conduct is extreme. Virtue would be found somewhere in the middle ground.

The man who gives himself to all pleasures is a libertine, but the one who flees from all pleasures is an insensitive person. The one who confronts all dangers is foolhardy, but he who runs from all dangers is a coward.

The rock cannot fall upward nor can fire burn downward. But we can cultivate habits which will allow us to behave virtuously. Nature, still according to Aristotle, gives us faculties, and we have the power to change them into actions passions and habits.

The one who practises wisdom becomes wise, he who practises justice becomes just, and the architect acquires his virtue as an architect by constructing buildings. Habits, not faculties! Habits, not merely ephemeral passions! Aristotle goes farther and states that the formation of habits should begin in childhood and that a youth cannot practise politics because he needs first to learn all the virtuous habits taught by his elders, the legislators who instruct the citizens in virtuous habits.

Thus we know now that vice is extreme behaviour and virtue is behaviour characterised neither by excess nor deficiency. But if any given behaviour is to be seen as either vicious or virtuous, it must fulfil four indispensable conditions: These terms call for explanation.

But let us bear in mind what we already know: Little by little our definition is becoming more complex. Necessary Characteristics of Virtue A man can behave in a totally virtuous manner and, in spite of that, not be considered virtuous; or he may behave in a vicious manner and not be considered vicious.

In order to be considered virtuous or vicious, human action must meet four conditions. First Condition: Wilfulness Wilfulness excludes the accidental. That is, man acts because he decides to act voluntarily, by his will and not by accident. One day a mason put a stone on a wall in such a way that a strong wind blew it down. The man died. His wife sued the mason, but the latter defended himself by saying that he had not committed any crime since he had not had the intention of killing the pedestrian.

That is, his behaviour was not vicious — he merely had an accident. But the judge did not accept this defence and found him guilty based on the fact that there was no wilfulness in causing the death, but there was in placing the stone in a position such that it could fall and cause a death. In this respect there was wilfulness. If man acts because he wishes to, there we find virtue or vice.

If his action is not determined by his will, one can speak neither of vice nor virtue. The one who does good without being aware of it is not for that a good person. Nor is he bad who causes harm involuntarily. Second Condition: Freedom Here, exterior coercion is excluded. If a man commits an evil act because someone forces him with a gun to his head, one cannot in this case speak of vice. Virtue is free behaviour, without any sort of exterior pressure.

In this case, too, a story is told — this time of a woman who, on being abandoned by her lover, decided to kill him, and so she did. Taken to court, she declared in her defence that she had not acted freely: According to her, there was no guilt here, no crime.

Though there is no freedom when coercion comes from without, acts based upon inner impulse must be regarded as freely undertaken. The woman was condemned. Third Condition: Knowledge It is the opposite of ignorance.

The person who acts has before him an option whose terms he knows. Also in this case, the drunk was condemned. Before he started drinking he had full knowledge that the alcohol was going to lead him to a state of unconsciousness; therefore he was guilty of letting himself fall into a state in which he lost consciousness of what he was doing. In relation to this third condition of virtuous behaviour, the conduct of characters such as Othello and Oedipus may seem questionable.

With regard to both, we find discussions of the existence or non-existence of knowledge on which their virtue or vice would hinge. To my way of thinking the argument can be resolved as follows. Othello does not know the truth; this is correct. Iago lies to him about the infidelity of Desdemona, his wife, and Othello, blind with jealousy, kills her. But the tragedy of Othello goes far beyond a simple murder: Nor is this habitual behaviour.

But what indeed is a habit is his constant pride and his unreflective temerity. In several moments of the play Othello tells how he flung himself against his enemies, how he acted without reflecting upon the consequences of his actions. This, or his excessive pride, is the cause of his misfortune. And of these qualities, Othello is fully conscious, has full knowledge. Also in the case of Oedipus, one must ask, what is his true flaw hamartia? His tragedy does not consist in having killed his father or married his mother.

Those are not habitual acts either, and habit is one of the basic characteristics of virtuous or vicious behaviour. But if we read the play with care, we will see that Oedipus, in all the important moments of his life, reveals his extraordinary pride, his arrogance, the vanity which leads him to believe that he is superior to the gods themselves.

It is not the Moirai the Fates that lead him to his tragic end; he himself, by his own decision, moves toward his misfortune. It is intolerance that causes him to kill an old man, who happens to be his father, because the latter did not treat him with the proper respect at a crossroads. And she really was! Why did he not exercise such care? Because of pride, haughtiness, intolerance, because he believed himself to be a worthy adversary of the gods.

These are his flaws, his vices. To know or not the identity of Jocasta and Laius is secondary. Oedipus himself, when he recognises his error, acknowledges these facts. He who acts in ignorance practises neither virtue nor vice. Fourth Condition: Constancy Since virtues and vices are habits, not merely passions, it is necessary that virtuous or vicious behaviour also be constant. All the heroes of the Greek tragedies act consistently in the same manner.

When the tragic flaw of the character consists precisely in his incoherence, that character must be introduced as coherently incoherent. Once more, neither accident nor chance characterise vice and virtue. Thus those whom tragedy imitates are the virtuous men who, upon acting, show wilfulness, freedom, knowledge, and constancy. But is virtue one, or are there different degrees of virtue? The Degrees of Virtue Each art, each science, has its corresponding virtue, because each has its own end, its own good.

The virtue of the horseman is to ride a horse well; the virtue of the ironsmith is to manufacture good iron tools. That of the physician is to restore the health of the sick. That of the legislator is to make perfect laws that will bring happiness to the citizens. While it is true that each art and each science has its own virtue, it is also true as we have already seen, that all the arts and all the sciences are interdependent and that some are superior to others, to the extent by which they are more complex than others and study or include larger sectors of human activity.

Of all the arts and sciences, the sovereign art and science is Politics, because nothing is alien to it. Politics has for its field of study the totality of the relationships of the totality of men. Therefore the greatest good — the attainment of which would entail the greatest virtue — is the political good. Tragedy imitates those actions of man which have the good as their goal; but it does not imitate actions which have minor ends, of secondary importance.

Tragedy imitates actions that are directed toward the highest goal, the political good. And what is the political good? There is no doubt: What is Justice? In the Nicomachaean Ethics, Aristotle proposes to us and we accept the principle that the just is that which is equal, and the unjust that which is unequal.

In any division, the people that are equal should receive equal parts and those who by any criterion are unequal should receive unequal parts. Up to here we are in agreement. But we must define the criteria of inequality, because no one will want to be unequal in an inferior sense while all will want to be unequal in a superior one. Aristotle himself was opposed to the talion law an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth because, he said, if the people were not equal, their eyes and teeth would not be equal either.

Thus one would have to ask: Then our philosopher utilises an apparently honest argument to determine criteria of equality to which no one can object. He asks, should we begin with ideal, abstract principles and descend to reality or, on the contrary, should we look at concrete reality and from there ascend toward the principles? Far from any romanticism, he answers: We must examine empirically the real, existing inequalities and upon them base our criteria of inequality.

For Aristotle, therefore, justice is already contained in reality itself as it is.

He does not consider the possibility of transforming the already existing inequalities, but simply accepts them. And for this reason he decides that since free men and slaves do exist in reality abstract principles do not matter , that will be the first criterion of inequality. To be a man is more and to be a woman is less — this is shown by concrete reality, according to Aristotle. Thus free men would rank highest; then would come free women, followed by male slaves, with the poor female slaves at the bottom.

But not all societies were based on that same value; the oligarchies, for example, were based on the supreme value of wealth. There the men who owned more were considered superior to those who had less. Always starting with reality as it is. Thus we come to the conclusion that justice is not equality: And the criteria of proportionality are given by the political system actually in force in a particular city.

Justice will always be proportionality, but the criteria which determine the latter will vary depending upon whether the system is a democracy, an oligarchy, a dictatorship, a republic, or other. And how are the criteria of inequality established so that all become aware of them? Through laws. And who makes the laws? In order to have superior laws, it is necessary that they be made by superior beings: The body of laws of a city, of a country, is put together and systematised in a constitution.

The constitution, therefore, is the expression of the political good, the maximum expression of justice. Finally, with the help of the Nicomachaean Ethics, we can arrive at a clear conclusion regarding what tragedy is for Aristotle. Its widest and most complete definition would be the following: In the final analysis, happiness consists in obeying the laws. For those who make the laws, all is well. But what about those who do not make them?

Understandably, they rebel, not wishing to accept the criteria of inequality provided by present reality, since they are criteria subject to modification, as is reality itself. In those cases, says the philosopher, sometimes war is necessary. We have seen that the population of a city is not uniformly content.

If there is inequality, no one wants it to be to his disadvantage. It is necessary to make sure that all remain, if not uniformly satisfied, at least uniformly passive with respect to those criteria of inequality. How to achieve this? Through the many forms of repression: This statement may seem somewhat daring, but it is nothing more than the truth. Of course, the system presented by Aristotle in his Poetics, the functional system of tragedy and all the forms of theatre which to this day follow its general mechanism is not only a system of repression.

And there are many other aspects that ought likewise to be taken into account.

But it is important to consider especially this fundamental aspect: And why is the repressive function the fundamental aspect of the Greek tragedy and of the Aristotelian system of tragedy? Simply because, according to Aristotle, the principal aim of tragedy is to provoke catharsis. The Ultimate Aim of Tragedy The fragmentary nature of the Poetics has obscured the solid connection existing among its parts, as well as the hierarchy of the parts within the context of the whole.

Only this fact explains why marginal observations, of little or no importance, have been taken to be central concepts of Aristotelian thought. As a co-dramaturge, the spectator helps re-write the play while actors still play their part. When it comes to Forum Theatre, Boal will allow the spectators to come up on stage and to perform as characters, by substituting themselves for the actors in order to find a way out of the current situation.

With these few examples, three elements become obvious. First, Boal uses theatre to make both the oppressive situation and mechanisms of domination visible. Secondly, the performance is not enough by itself. Drama, here, is aimed to let people try to change representation of their own situation, by acting on stage in the first instance and then by implementing in real life what has been attempted within the safety of the fictional space.

Thirdly, Boal conceives theatre as a method so that people can perform by themselves the techniques he created, without needing professional actors to act instead of them. These elements are the bedrock of the Theatre of the Oppressed. Third step: This poetics, which is a drama treaty, does not precede the practice. On the contrary, throughout his life Boal always built drama theory on previous experiments.

First, it's important to highlight that this poetics is quite original in that it is a poetics of spectators. However, the real target of his criticism is not the spectator himself, but what he's the spectator of. Boal asks the spectators to be suspicious of the kind of theatre or images they are watching.

From there, we can infer that through this, the real targets of Boal's attack are the producers of these aesthetic representations. On this specific point, Boal is close to Paulo Freire's intellectual stance which is to consider the future as a problem to solve and not as something inevitable, regarding which there is nothing to be done and which leaves us in a helpless spectator's position.

But he's also close to Brecht, who wrote in a text about dialectical theatre, that theatre should show people so that the public can transform them and not just interpret them. That's the point: Based on these elements, Boal draws an analogy between the spectators and the oppressed. According to him, both are in receiving postures facing a world governed by the oppressors and facing the theatrical representations of this world as the only possible one: We can recognize here the hegemonic process as defined by Gramsci and taken up by Raymond Williams who wrote in Resources of Hope Verso, that The essential dominance of a particular class in society is maintained not only, although if necessary, by power, and not only, although always, by property.

It is maintained also and inevitably by a lived culture: The very core of the Poetics of the Oppressed is that theatre should be performed by the people, by the oppressed themselves and not by professional actors claiming to stand on the stage for them.

This is why this poetics has been conceived as a method to help non-actors to use drama techniques for themselves as political tools or weapons in their liberation struggles. His second book, Games for Actors and Non-actors Routledge, is mostly a collection of games and exercises.

In his theoretical work, Boal often refers to Paulo Freire's awareness and critical consciousness-raising, but also to Socratic maieutics. The Socratic Method is indeed at the core of some techniques such as Forum Theatre but also in workshops. This function is embodied by the Joker who is a mediating figure between the stage and the audience during Forum Theatre but also the intermediary between the method and the oppressed.

Theatre of the Oppressed

He's the one who guides non- actors in their journey through the appropriation of theatre techniques. A spect-actor is someone who used to be a witness of the world's affairs and who has become, through the practice of theatre, a protagonist.

This poetics is developed as a method and a praxis. For example, Peruvian workers in the early seventies used Forum Theatre to rehearse different political strategies to fight for better working conditions — they tried to break the engine, to blow up the factory, to go on strike and finally, to create a union. That's why Boal always said that if Theatre of the Oppressed wasn't a revolution by itself, it could be a rehearsal of the revolution.

First, because the main interest lies in the acting experience and not the spectating one. At the core of these two theatrical practices is the actor.

The essential is to act, not to sit and watch other people acting. Also and for the same reason, both don't necessarily implement public performance, because the biggest part is the process, not the finished work. Even if Theatre of the Oppressed's Marxist background is less obvious, yet it asserts itself as a rehearsal for concrete political actions. The military coup in Argentina forced Boal to flee to Europe. Popular education movements have always been, from Latin America to Europe, one of Boal's main influences.

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